Saturday, May 31, 2014

"ATW80DS" - Pasta in a Pot

I don't normally repost recipes without trying them first, but this one looks really good...
Photo: Blow your MIND" Tomato Basil Pasta! - No Straining, just Stirring. (I've gotten many requests to repost this, so here you go!)

*To SAVE this recipe, simply SHARE it to your timeline*

Pasta, Tomatoes, Veggie Broth, Olive Oil, and Seasonings (details below)

Throw it all in the pot, INCLUDING the uncooked Pasta, and cook! - Bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. The starch leaches out of the pasta and makes a rich, warm sauce for the noodles. The other ingredients cook right along with the pasta

12 ounces pasta (I used Linguine)
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with liquid ( I used zesty red pepper flavor)
1 large sweet onion, cut in julienne strips
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
2 large sprigs basil, chopped
4 1/2 cups vegetable broth (regular broth and NOT low sodium)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese for garnish

Place pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, in a large stock pot. Pour in vegetable broth. Sprinkle on top the pepper flakes and oregano. Drizzle top with oil.

Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and keep covered and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated – I left about an inch of liquid in the bottom of the pot – but you can reduce as desired .

Season to taste with salt and pepper , stirring pasta several times to distribute the liquid in the bottom of the pot. Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese. 

Simply The Best You...Healthy and Happy
Blow your MIND" Tomato Basil Pasta! - No Straining, just Stirring. (I've gotten many requests to repost this, so here you go!)

Pasta, Tomatoes, Veggie Broth, Olive Oil, and Seasonings (details below)

Throw it all in the pot, INCLUDING the uncooked Pasta, and cook! - Bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. The starch leaches out of the pasta and makes a rich, warm sauce for the noodles. The other ingredients cook right along with the pasta

12 ounces pasta (I used Linguine)
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with liquid ( I used zesty red pepper flavor)
1 large sweet onion, cut in julienne strips
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
2 large sprigs basil, chopped
4 1/2 cups vegetable broth (regular broth and NOT low sodium)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese for garnish

Place pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, in a large stock pot. Pour in vegetable broth. Sprinkle on top the pepper flakes and oregano. Drizzle top with oil.

Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and keep covered and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated – I left about an inch of liquid in the bottom of the pot – but you can reduce as desired .

Season to taste with salt and pepper , stirring pasta several times to distribute the liquid in the bottom of the pot. Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese.

Simply The Best You...Healthy and Happy

Friday, May 30, 2014

"ATW80DS" - Tomato & Broccoli Tapenade

Okay... So one big thing I am learning is that Toss-Together Tuesday's are not a good thing. An unplanned meal can lead to sooooo much bad snacking and junk food cravings. I eat so much high calorie stuff on Tuesdays, corn dogs smothered in guacamole with tortilla chips and cheese, followed by orange jell-o with cool whip and candy bars. That was not counting: breakfast (toast, cheddar cheese and an orange), lunch (yogurt, pork chop, Mt. Dew and Bruschetta with Tomato & Broccoli Tapenade), or snacks (peanuts, candy corn, a  full king sized Whatchamacallit Candy Bar,  and 4 mini white powered donuts). And may I point out that none of the above items are actually that bad for you, it's just the way I put them together in a meal or meals. I was so BAD today!!!!
      But the one thing that I did want to share about the afternoon was the new  
recipe that I made today. It is a Mediterranean style of Tapenade and it was so tasty and easy to make.


  • 1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh broccoli, finely chopped
  • 2-4 small white button mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped red pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 narrow Italian or French loaf of bread
  • 1 head garlic, cut in 1/2 crosswise


  1.   Place chopped tomatoes, basil & mushrooms in a large saute pan. Stir in the 2 tablespoons olive oil, (save the other 2 for bruschetta), red pepper, garlic, basil, black pepper, and balsamic vinegar and mix well, warm up on low for 2 minutes. Cover and chill for at least four hours before serving.
  2.   To make the bruschetta base: Slice the loaf of bread, on the bias, into 1/2-inch slices, (about 12-15 per loaf). Rub each slice   with fresh garlic clove and then brush with olive oil. Place bread in oven on sheet pan, bake on 350 until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes on each side. Serve warm with chilled Tapenade.
  3.    To serve: Fold feta into Tapenade, Place bread slices on serving dish, spoon 2 tablespoons of Tapenade onto each slice of bread and serve.

Nutritional Information 

Serving size is 2 pieces... 
Amount Per Serving:   Calories: 114 / Total Fat: 11.1g / Cholesterol: 8mg / Sodium 110mg / Protein 2.0g

Thursday, May 29, 2014

"ATW80DS" - Roman Salad

They say that "when in Rome, do what the Romans do!" Well this Chef is craving a Roman-style Greek Salad and This one turned out so good I just had to share.... Makes 8 -1/2 cup servings.

1 large cucumber (peeled & sliced into thin rings)
1 large Tomato (cut into chunks)
1/2 large Green Pepper (cut into chunks)
1/2 large yellow onion (sliced into thin rings & separated)
1/2 can small black olives (leave whole)
1/2 large Pomegranate (peeled & seeded)
1/4 cup feta cheese (crumbled)
1/8 cup grated lemon peel
1 full recipe of Greek Vinaigrette Dressing (recipe below)

prepare all vegetables as directed and toss gently. Add Pomegranate, Feta Cheese and Lemon Peel. Toss gently again. Pour dressing over the top, let stand 15mins and serve. It is better served fresh, veggies seem to wilt if left to stand to long.

Greek Vinaigrette Dressing:
2/3 cup of extra virgin Olive Oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
salt & pepper to taste

Mix together and pour over Fresh Vegetables. Great for Marinating and Grilling!

NOTE:To make it a full meal add grilled chicken chunks and fresh button mushrooms and serve on a bed of fresh baby spinach.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

"ATW80DS" - Italian Frittata

Good Morning Italy... we are so exited to know that we almost made our way around the world. We are going to be spending some time here in Italy to explore some of the different regions that we might have missed during our "Tour of Italy" challenges last year.

So today we thought we would start off with a great Italian brunch item.They define Frittata as an egg-based Italian dish similar to an omelette or crustless quiche, enriched with additional ingredients such as meats, cheeses, vegetables or pasta. The word frittata is derived from Italian and roughly translates to "egg-cake". You can put anything you want into them to get what ever flavors you are craving and they are delicious served warm or cold.

1-2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large handful of chopped fresh spinach,
1 cup sliced white button mushrooms
1 - 2 roma Tomatoes sliced thin
6 large eggs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (divided)
1/2 cup mild cheddar grated
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 large handful of leftover spaghetti
A few dashes of salt

Beat the eggs in a small bowl with half of the cheese, the fresh parsley, and salt and red pepper.
Add olive oil to an 8-inch non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Add mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes or until golden brown; add the spaghetti and cook 1 more minute. Add spinach and tomatoes, Pour the egg mixture into the skillet. With a fork, gently move the egg mixture from side to side allowing the egg to seep to the bottom of the pan. Do this for 5-7 minutes, until the eggs start to solidify and a crust begins to form around the edges. Give the pan handle a jiggle, and when the eggs appear nearly set, evenly sprinkle the second half of the cheese over the top of the frittata.

Remove the pan from the stove top and place under the broiler for 4-5 minutes, or until the top begins to puff up and turn golden brown. Keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Let cool for a couple of minutes before slicing. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

"ATW80DS" - Bit-O-Irish Cheesecake (from Kraft)

Several years ago I came acrossed this recipe from Kraft for this yummy cheesecake and we started making it to go along with our Memorial Day BBQ Brisket.

What You Need

1-1/2 cups  finely chopped PLANTERS Pecans
2 Tbsp.  sugar
3 Tbsp.  butter or margarine, melted
4 pkg.  (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup  sugar
3 Tbsp.  flour
1 cup  BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
1/4 cup  Irish cream liqueur
4 eggs

To Make It

HEAT oven to 325°F.
MIX nuts, 2 Tbsp. sugar and butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake 10 min.
BEAT cream cheese, 1 cup sugar and flour in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add sour cream and liqueur; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust.
BAKE 1 hour 5 min. or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate 4 hours.

Monday, May 26, 2014

"ATW80DS" - Irish Corned Beef Brisket

Every September barbecue fans from all over the world flock to Lisdoonvarna, Ireland for the World Cup Barbecue Championship. Here in America, especially the South Boston Irish Community, we celebrate it at St. Patrick's day in March.
Our family like to kick off our summer grilling with with a great brisket as part of our Memorial day Feast. It makes great leftovers for sandwiches and hash. The recipe that we like to use is the famous Maguire's Barbecue Sauce, that was written down in the 17th century and lost in a family bible, only to be found again recently. This tomato based sauce is mild in flavor with a Worcestershire taste and can still be found being used in lots of homes today. Not only does Ireland know all about real barbecue but they buy gas and charcoal grills at a rate that has attracted the business of manufacturers all over the world. Virtually any grill or smoker you can buy in the United States can be bought on the Emerald Isle. With one of the fastest growing economies in Europe the Irish are hitting the patio and they are grilling.... 

Grilled Corned-Beef Brisket
This recipe is a great make ahead meal item. You can marinade it overnight and have it ready for dinner the next day. Prep Time: 10 minutes and Cook Time: 12 minutes


* 1 beef brisket or flank steak, about 2 pounds
* 1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
* 1/4 cup tomato sauce
* 1/3 cup soy sauce
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1/2 cup chopped onion
* 2 bay leaves
* 1 tablespoon pickling spices
* 1/2 cup maple-flavored or pancake syrup
* 1/4 cup yellow mustard
* 2 tablespoons of Irish whiskey, beer or cider vinegar
* 1/2 teaspoon whole black pepper corns

Place brisket or flank steak in a resealable plastic bag. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over steak. Seal bag and refrigerate overnight. Preheat grill for medium-high heat. Remove steaks from bag making sure to reserve marinade. Place marinade in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 6-8 minutes. Place flank steaks on a lightly oiled grill grate and cook for 6 minutes per side. Remove from heat, drizzle with sauce, and serve.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

"ATW80DS" - French Bagettes

Making your own bread can be a great way to cut down on your food costs as well as your gluten and carbs.

6 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast and salt. Stir in 2 cups warm water, and beat until well blended using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
2. On a lightly floured surface, knead in enough flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. Knead for about 8 to 10 minutes total. Shape into a ball. Place dough in a greased bowl, and turn once. Cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled.
3. Punch dough down, and divide in half. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each half into large rectangle. Roll up, starting from a long side. Moisten edge with water and seal. Taper ends.
4. Grease a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Place loaves, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly beat the egg white with 1 tablespoon of water, and brush on. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until nearly doubled, 35 to 40 minutes.
5. With a very sharp knife, make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts about 1/4 inch deep across top of each loaf. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for 20 minutes. Brush again with egg white mixture. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until bread tests done. If necessary, cover loosely with foil to prevent over browning. Remove from baking sheet, and cool on a wire rack.

 If anyone would like to join us in our Challenge "Around the World in 80 Days"... Monday, we will be in Italy.

Friday, May 23, 2014

"ATW80DS" - Zucchini Croquetas

Croquetas, as they are known in Spain, are never made with mashed potatoes, just bechamel. They are typical tapas dishes, especially filled with jamón, chicken or cod. But over in Portugal, they are cylindrical, covered in breadcrumbs, and deep-fried. They are usually made with white sauce and beef, sometimes mixed with varying amounts of pork, and frequently with some chouriço, black pepper or piri-piri to add more flavour. Seafood, fish (other than codfish) and vegetarian (potato) croquetes are also eaten in Portugal, but those have other names (such as rissol, pastel, empada), thus the name croquete only refers to the Dutch-style beef croquette.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for deep-frying
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk, heated
  • 3 ounces jamón serrano or other dry-cured ham, finely chopped
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • Salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons fine dried bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan Cheese 


Lightly oil a shallow 8-inch square dish.
In a saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil and the butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the flour and, using a wooden spoon or whisk, mix well. Continue to stir or whisk for about 2 minutes, or until the flour is well blended.
Add 1/2 cup of the milk and increase the heat to medium-high. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the remaining cup of milk. Cook, stirring constantly with the spoon or whisk, for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture begins to thicken. Decrease the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming, for about 10 minutes, or until thickened.
Add the jamon serrano and zucchini, season lightly with salt (remember, the ham is already salty), and stir until evenly distributed. Cook for 1 minute longer and then pour the contents of the pan into the prepared dish. Spread the mixture evenly. Let cool down for a bit and then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight to allow the mixture to set.
Break the eggs into a bowl and beat ligthly until blended. Spread the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese on a dinner plate. With 2 spoons, shape the béchamel-ham mixture into walnut-sized croquettes. Roll each croquette in the bread crumbs, shaking off any excess crumbs, and then dip into the beaten egg. Lift each croquette from the egg and roll it again in the bread crumbs, coating it evenly. Lay the croquettes in a single layer on a platter. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before frying.
Pour the olive oil to a depth of about 2 inches into a wide, deep, heavy pot and heat over high heat. When the oil is almost smoking, slip 5 or 6 croquettes into the oil, pressing on them gently with a slotted spoon to submerge them, and fry, turning them gently, for about 2 minutes, or until they are golden on all sides. Using the slotted spoon, lift out the croquettes, holding them briefly over the pot to allow the excess oil to drain, and transfer to an ovenproof platter lined with paper towels to drain further. Keep the croquettes warm in a low oven. Fry the rest of the croquettes in the same way, always making sure the oil is very hot before adding more croquettes.
When all the croquettes are fried, arrange on a platter and serve immediately.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

"ATW80DS" - Moroccan-Style Grilled Shrimp

Even though we are not a spicy kind of family, I love the bold flavors of Moroccan grilled meats and seafood. Plus on a side note, if you have a well stocked pantry, you should have everything you need all ready. Makes this dish wonderfully easy... We serve it with a green summer salad,

  • 1/3 cup curry powder
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • Zest from half an orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, shells removed and deveined
  • Rosemary sprigs as skewers or wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 1 9-ounce jar cocktail sauce
  1. Mix the first nine ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Heat the grill to medium hot.
  3. Sprinkle the shrimp with the rub mixture.
  4. Skewer the shrimp three or so to a skewer.
  5. Grill shrimp until both sides are a bright orange pink.
  6. Serve on skewers or remove and place in a glass with cocktail sauce.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

"ATW80DS" - North Africa

African Style Lamb with Saffron Risoto

Heavily influenced by the bold Egyptian flavors and the wonderful spices from Marocco, the people of Noeth Africa have an interesting way of combining their protiens and starches together.

For this dish you will need:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 
1/4 cup chopped onion 
2 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, finely chopped 
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary 
1/2 pound boneless lamb or mutton for a stronger flavor, cut into bite sized chunks. (great way to use up the leftover lamb from day 13)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 
1/2 cup dry white wine 
1 large can (28 ounces) Italian plum tomatoes with their juices, coarsely chopped 
1 pound rice  ( penne or maccheroncini pasta works also) 
Large pinch of saffron (20 threads) 
8 cups water or chicken stock
 1/3 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
  1. Put the oil and onion in a large skillet and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is pale gold. And the pancetta and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pancetta fat is rendered; the pancetta should remain soft.
  2. Add the lamb and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir. Add the wine and simmer until evaporated, about 10 minutes.
  3. Put in the tomatoes and simmer gently, stirring from time to time, until the fat begins to separate from the sauce, about 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, fill a large pot with 8 cups of water or chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of coarse salt, cover and return to a boil. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of coarse salt, cover and return to a boil. Add the rice or pasta and stir rapidly with a wooden spoon. Cover and bring back to a boil, then uncover and cook the rice or pasta, stirring frequently, until it is al dente.
  5. Drain the rice or pasta and immediately transfer it to a warmed bowl. Toss with the Saffron, lamb sauce and the cheese. Serve at once; pass additional cheese at the table. We like to serve ours with Lamb Meatballs.
Make Ahead The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

"ATW80DS" - Oxtail Stew with Mashed Cauliflower

When I boys were younger, we had a lady from Ghana come stay with us for awhile. SHe helped out with the kids and the house work. She was an incredible cook and her favorite meal was oxtail stew. She would make a big pot of it and we would eat on it for days. Of course Her and I were the only ones who liked it... :)

  • 4 pounds oxtail
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 garlic clove chopped
  • 3 8oz canned tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoon tomatoe paste
  • 1 sprig of thyme (1 teaspoon thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon curry
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 maggi/1 tablespoon bouillon
  • 1 habenara pepper (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Boil oxtail with salt, pepper and some chopped onions in a medium pot until tender. It will take approximately 40 to 45 minutes. I used pressure cooker to shorten the process. Reserve the stock for later use. Remove fatty oil if desired
  2. Add ½ cup oil to the pot/pan and fry the oxtail for about 5 minutes.
  3. Then, add the chopped garlic to perfume the oil and meat , continue frying the meat for1- 2 minutes, be careful not to let the garlic burn
  4. Next add tomato sauce, tomato paste, curry and fresh thyme . Stir the pot frequently to prevent the sauce from sticking to the pot
  5. Add salt and bouillon according to preference with about 2 cups of stock. Bring to a boil and let it simmer to blend all the flavors and reduce acidity of the tomato sauce. Approximately 30-40 minutes. Stir occasionally adding water as needed
  6. Finally add green onions and green pepper. Adjust seasonings, soup consistency with water/stock and salt.
  7. Serve warm with desired side dish.

Mashed Cauliflower 


  • 8 cups bite-size cauliflower florets (about 1 head)
  • 2 - 4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 1/3 cup nonfat milk or chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Snipped fresh chives for garnish


  1. Place cauliflower florets and garlic in  boiling water, cook until very tender, 12 to 15 minutes. (Alternatively, place florets and garlic in a microwave-safe bowl with 1/4 cup water, cover and microwave on High for 3 to 5 minutes.)
  2. Place the cooked cauliflower and garlic in a food processor. Add milk,  butter, salt and pepper; pulse several times, then process until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a serving bowl.  You can drizzle with the  2 teaspoons oil and garnish with chives, if desired. Serve hot.


Per serving: 107 calories; 7 g fat ( 1 g sat , 4 g mono ); 3 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 5 g protein; 4 g fiber; 339 mg sodium; 288 mg potassium

Monday, May 19, 2014

"ATW80DS" - Kuku Paka from Kenya

The photo for this recipe does not do it justice... It is actually a lot better than it looks.
Serving Size: 4-6
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 1-inch section of fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, washed and chopped
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1.5 lbs chicken breasts, trimmed and skinned (my dad always used a whole cut-up chicken, but I much prefer using breasts for ease of eating with little kids)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil if you don’t have coconut oil)
  • 1 can coconut cream (I really, really like the taste of coconut cream vs. coconut milk.  However, it can be harder to find.  If necessary, just go with coconut milk)
  • 2-3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin (freshly ground from seed is best)
  • 1 tsp coriander (again, freshly ground from seed is preferred)
  • 2 tsp salt, and possibly more to taste
  • cayenne chili powder to taste (I usually add about 3/4 tsp)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Basmati rice

  • I generally start by either broiling or grilling the chicken breasts until just cooked through.  Briefly let them cool and then chop into bite-sized pieces.
  • Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or saucepan.
  • Add potatoes and cook until nicely browned.  Remove them and place in a bowl for later use.
  • Add onion (and more oil if needed) and fry them until dark brown
  • Add tomatoes and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute, stirring vigorously
  • Add garlic, ginger, turmeric, salt, cumin, and coriander and cook for 2 minutes, stirring vigorously
  • Put into the pan: cooked potatoes, chicken, coconut cream and enough chicken broth to cover the meat and veggies
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 25 minutes.
  • Add garam masala, cayenne pepper, and additional salt as needed.  Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add cilantro and lemon juice and cook 2 minutes.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

"ATW80DS" - Koeksisters

These much-loved South African doughnuts have occupied an honorary place at many tables around the world. Derived from the Dutch word for ‘cookie’(koekje), a good koeksister is crunchy and sticky on the outside, and moist and syrupy in the inside.
Although, many have suggested, that the koeksister recipe may not be the easiest to master, practice makes perfect…and it is believed that even bad Koeksisters is better than none at all.

For the Koeksisters Dough:

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk

For the soaking syrup (start the day before):
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Zest of 1/2 a small lemon, in large pieces
  • 3 large slices peeled fresh ginger (slices should be about the size of poker chips and about 1/4-inch thick)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  •  2 sticks of cinnamon
    2 cinnamon sticks


For the Syrup (prepare the syrup the day before for best results)

In a pan, heat up the water. Add the sugar, salt, cream of tartar, ginger, lemon juice and cinnamon stick. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Stir occasionally. Simmer for 10 minutes. Allow to cool. Transfer to the fridge.

For the Dough:
Add the dry ingredients to a bowl and mix them together. Add the milk, butter, eggs and cream, mixing it all together. Knead with your hand for a couple of minutes. Wrap in cling film, and store in the fridge for 30 minutes. Roll out to a 1 cm thickness. Cut into strips thin strips and then short strips. To plait, tuck three strands together at the top. Fold the outer strips over into the middle, repeating until you reach the end and tuck them together.

To Fry:
Heat up half a pot of oil on a low flame. Place the bowl of syrup in a larger bowl of ice to keep it well chilled. Deep fry the koeksisters, don't put too many in at once. When golden, transfer to the syrup using a slotted spoon, draining off as much oil as you can. Leave to soak in the syrup for a while. Transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely before eating.

Friday, May 16, 2014

"ATW80DS" - Flan de leche

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water

  • FLAN
  • 5 Whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 ½ tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. To prepare the caramel, put 1 cup of sugar in a small pot with ¼ cup of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir once and reduce the heat to medium and cook about 5 minutes or until the syrup turns a caramel color.
  2. Immediately pour an equal amount of the caramel into each ramekin or any oven proof mold you want to use. Swirl each dish to coat the base with the caramel, work fast as the caramel will harden quickly as it cools. Place all the ramekins in a large roasting pan and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  4. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer. Mix the eggs, egg yolks and 1 ½ tablespoon sugar for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the condensed milk, heavy cream, whole milk and vanilla extract and mix for 1 more minute.
  5. Carefully pour an equal amount of the flan mixture into the caramelized ramekins in the roasting pan. Then add hot water to the roasting pan, not to the ramekins, until the water comes half way up the sides of the ramekins.
  6. Place the roasting pan in the oven and bake for 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the center of the flan comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the roasting pan and cool for at least 30 minutes. Then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  8. To serve, carefully run a knife around the edge of the ramekin, cover with a serving plate, flip it over and gently remove the ramekin allowing the caramel run over .

Thursday, May 15, 2014

"ATW80DS" - Chilean Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today is national Chocolate Chip Cookie Day and since we are viturally making our way from Chili to South Africa, we decided to make some Chiliean Chocolate Chip cookies for the trip...

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chopped
  • 3/4 cup, (5.4 ounces) Mexican chocolate, chopped

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

"ATW80DS" - Horchata (Chilian Recipe)

Horchata, also known as orxata or "rice water", is a refreshing, yummy, sweet Spanish drink made with rice, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and sometimes almonds. It is a great off set for the spicy foods and is very popular in Latin America and Spain. Other versions can be made of almonds, barley, herbs or tigernuts. The following recipe will make 6 cups. I have a friend and her husband grew up in brazil, she was telling me that his grandma use to make horchata and sometimes she would take all the rice stuff leftover after straining and cook it in milk and they would eat it like we do oatmeal. So we thought we would give it a try. Then as usual, here at the pantry we like to play, so we thought it might make a good pudding, kind of like rice pudding, so we took our Horchata mixture and added 2 eggs, blended well and cooked it over medium heat until thick. We served it chilled with whipped cream and sprinkles...  ( Photo below) It was actually pretty good, had the texture of grits but tasted like rice pudding. 

1 cup uncooked white long-grain rice
1/2 cup sliced almonds
4 cups warm water
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

1.Pour the rice, almonds and water into a blender; blend until the rice just begins to break up, about 1 minute. Let rice mixture stand at room temperature for a minimum of 3 hours.
2.Strain the rice water into a pitcher and discard the rice. Stir the milk, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and sugar into the rice water. Chill and stir before serving over ice.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

"ATW80DS" - Cheese?.... Yes Please!

We are making a little Cheese detour today, because having our oldest make a surprise visit home made for a great belated Mother's Day, is a great way to spend the day in Argentina. :)  Besides spending the day chatting, watching him and learning how to make Fresh Mozzarella from him was so much better! And since making Cheese is part of every world culture, we thought is would be fun to share our adventures here with all of you. I enjoy spending time in the kitchen with my guys, I learn so much... They are great teachers!  

Was really, really missing Becca and my Sugar baby... And my Florida boys. , Mother's Day just wasn't the same without them.

Monday, May 12, 2014

"ATW80DS" - Chana Salad (roasted corn & chickpea salad)

This is a very tasty Peruvian
salad that makes a great side dish or snack.

Ingredients: (Makes 2-3 servings)

For the Dressing: 
1/2 tsp red adobo powder (or to taste)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar or balsamic
salt and pepper to taste

For the Salad: 
1 cup of boiled chickpeas (we used canned)
2 tbsp peeled and finely chopped cucumber
2 tbsp peeled and finely chopped carrots

4 tbsp roasted corn from the cob
2 tbsp finely chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp finely chopped red onions

1 clove of garlic minced
2 tbsp finely chopped red bell pepper
2 tbsp finely chopped green bell pepper
2 tbsp finely chopped spring onion green

This is a great salad to make ahead of time, because the longer it sets the better it tastes. Toss all together and let at least 1 hour before serving.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

"ATW2014" - Brazilian Picanha

We love Brazilian style Churraso Meats done on the BBQ and since we have spent the week studying the Latin American countries, we thought today would be a great day to feature PICANHA.  What is a picanha? It is a particular cut from the top of the rump of the cow that has a beautiful layer of fat. 
When you ask about picanha, people often refer to churrasco. It became popular after it was introduced by Hungarian butchers in São Paulo in the 1960's and By the 1970's picanha became a sensation and the star of the show at any churracaria.  Today it has come symbolize “authentic” churrasco.
To get the full Brazilian churrasco experience, you need to use organic charcoal. Most Brazilians use reforested, eucalyptus charcoal lit with a couple of wads of newspaper and a good douse of clean-burning, sugar-cane alcohol. Just be careful that you use a good tasting wood and let your embers burn down to a glow before you grill.

When preparing your meat make sure you criss-cross cut into the fatty side of the picanha. By scoring the fat, you can prevent the piece from curling and dis-forming while it grills. Next, Roll the pieces of picanha in rock salt to seal in its juiciness and enhance its natural goodness. We have discovered that using  table salt or kosher salt does not work as well as Rock salt.  We use the kind used for making ice cream. Grill the steaks fat-side up for a few minutes until a little juice leaks out of the top of the steaks.  If you are grilling on the big skewer, both sides are the same, there is no fat-side.  Turn the steaks onto their sides to grill for a few more minutes.  Finally grill fat-side down moving the steaks away from the hottest part of the fire to avoid over-cooking and to reduce the chance of the fire flaring up from the dripping fat.  Grill to your desired doneness.  I use the finger poke to know if the meat is done.  Try not to puncture the meat when grilling.

Friday, May 9, 2014

"ATW80DS" - Shark & Bake

Bake & Shark is a very popular street food sold in Trinidad and Tobago. It is one of those very yummy, must-try items for visitors. And for locals, well, a week without eating Bake & Shark would just be unheard of.
The "Bake" part refers to the fried bun part of the sandwich. It is a dough made of all purpose flour, baking powder, a pinch of salt, a little bit of butter and mixed together with water. Once allowed to rest, the dough is then divided into 3-inch balls, rolled into flat circles and fried until it puffs up. The inside of the bake is hallow and it works perfect for stuffing meats and other stuff. 


For Bake:
2 cups flour ( all purpose)
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp yeast
1/2 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup water
oil for frying
For Shark:
Since blacktip shark — the traditional choice — is not readily available, catfish or tilapia fillets are   substituted here. 
1 lb shark or halibut
3 tbsp green seasoning*
3 lemons (or 4 limes)
1 egg ( for egg wash )
flour ( to flour shark )
salt to taste
oil for frying

Arrange fish in single layer in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Mix lime juice, green onion, garlic, thyme, and chile in small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Spoon over fish; let stand at room temperature at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour.
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish on both sides with salt and 
pepper, then flour. Working in batches, add fish to skillet and cook until golden and opaque in center, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer fish to paper towels to drain.

To serve, make a wide slit in the side of each float and fill each with a piece of shark, then garnish with sliced tomatoes and cucumbers,  a few lettuce leaves, slices of onion, mango chutney and/or coleslaw, and several dashes of hot pepper sauce, if you like.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

ATW80DS - Mofongo with Creamy Shrimp

Mofongo is a typical Puerto-Rican dish, that is super heavy and starchy. It needs to be fried to all enjoy the crispy textures with the saucy shrimp. This particular recipe is thought to originate from Puerto Rico and there are similar mashed plantain dishes from the other Spanish speaking islands. Cuba has fufu de plátano and The Dominican Republic has mangú. But ultimately, the dish most likely has its origin in African cuisine. The slaves brought with them a dish called foo foo or fufu, which is made in the same manner as mofongo from various mashed starchy vegetables such as yams, cassava, and plantains.

Mofongo - for 4 

6 plantains, sliced into rounds
3 cloves garlic, minced
12 slices of bacon or 6 sliced of pancetta
2 tbsp olive oil
Canola or Vegetable oil, for frying
Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat about two inches of oil in a frying pan. While the oil is heating up, peel the plantain and cut into one inch rounds. Fry the plantain until golden and tender. This will take approximately 4 to 6 minutes. Remove cooked plantain from the fryer and allow to drain on paper towels.
  2. Crumble bacon into very small pieces, Put the garlic and bacon in a mixing bowl and then add fried plantains. Mash with mortar & pestle until thoroughly blended and well incorporated.
  3. At this point you may shape the mofongo into 4 balls and serve hot; or divide the mofongo into 4 equal portions. Use a small condiment bowl as a mold. Push the mofongo down to the bottom of the bowl. With the back of a spoon, smooth over and level off the mix. Then use the spoon to scrape around the bowl and remove the mash in a half dome shape. Place in the center of serving bowls and cover with creamy shrimp and enjoy.

 Ingredients for the creamy Shrimp
  • 3 pounds large prawns or shrimp, "green" in their shells
  • 2 tablespoons "Old Bay" seasoning or "Harris' Dry Rub"
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup thin sliced onions
  • 1/2 cup thin sliced green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 lemons, washed and cut into wedges
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite Caribbean BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream


Peel the shrimp including the tails, Reserve the shells and set aside. Sprinkle the shrimp with 1 tablespoon dry seasoning. Toss with your hands to coat the shrimp with the seasonings. Refrigerate the shrimp while you make the sauce base.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large pot over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions, green peppers and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the reserved shrimp shells, the bay leaves, lemons, water, sweet baby ray's, wine, salt, and black pepper. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat, allow to cool for about 15 minutes. Strain into a small saucepan. There should be about 1 1/2 cups. Place over high
heat, bring to a boil, and cook until thick, syrupy,
and dark brown, for about 15 minutes.
Makes about 6 tablespoons of barbecue sauce base. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the seasoned shrimp and saute them, occasionally shaking the skillet, for 2 minutes. Add the cream and all of the barbecue base. Stir and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp to a warm platter with tongs and whisk the butter into the sauce. Remove from the heat. Place the shrimp Mofongo. Spoon the sauce over the shrimp and. Garnish with chopped chives. This dish is great prepared inside or out.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

"ATW80DS" - Jamaican Sweet & Sour Wings

Prep Time:15 mis Total Time:1 hr 15 min Makes:  6 servings

 This unique dish is distinctly from the island’s Chinese heritage that dates back to the descendants of migrants from China to Jamaica in the Early the 19th century.


  • 24 chicken wings or chicken drumettes
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons Jamaican Sweet & Spicy Sauce
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 6 slices fresh pineapple 
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small sliced carrots
  • 1 small sliced green pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken stock*


  1. Soak chicken wings in a 1/4 cup vinegar and 4 cups of water solution for 30 mins and rinse, then season with salt and pepper, set aside.
  2. Finely chop onion and garlic, 
  3. Cut pineapple into bite sized chunks, sliced other vegetables.
  4. In a wok, heat Vegetable Oil, add half of the garlic and onion, saute for 1 minute.
  5. Add chicken and keep stirring, as soon as chicken is cooked, add soy sauce, pineapple, vegetables, vinegar, sugar and stock.
  6. Add the remaining garlic and onion and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Place chicken wings in greased 13x9-inch baking pan. Bake 30 min or until well browned and sauce is thickened.
SERVE hot over rice.